Fekitoa joins Toulon

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Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

All Blacks and Highlanders centre Malakai Fekitoa is joining Toulon.

Fekitoa, was the subject of intense speculation in recent days after Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal announced the imminent signing of a high-profile New Zealand centre at a fan event.

Though the French club and Fekitoa's camp had moved to hose down the speculation, the All Blacks confirmed his departure on Friday morning.

Fekitoa has played 24 Tests for the All Blacks, including playing in the champion 2015 Rugby World Cup side.

The centre posted on Instagram on Friday morning, explaining his decision.

"I wanted to let you all know that after a lot of thought I have decided to join Toulon (RCT) at the end of the year," he wrote.

"It has been the hardest decision of my life to leave New Zealand, but after looking at all the things that are important to me I feel this is the right time for me personally and for my career.

I especially want to thank NZR and the All Blacks, the Highlanders and Auckland Rugby for all your support and development over the years. Most of all I want to thank my team mates for all your support and friendships. Finally to my fans THANK YOU, its been a hell of a ride.

"I'm blessed and thankful to play this game.

"Doesn't matter where I go to work. We still have a lot more to do. I hope to return one day with more experience and success. MF13"

 

I wanted to let you all know that after a lot of thought I have decided to join Toulon (RCT) at the end of the year. It has been the hardest decision of my life to leave New Zealand, but after looking at all the things that are important to me I feel this is the right time for me personally and for my career. I especially want to thank NZR and the All Blacks, the Highlanders and Auckland Rugby for all your support and development over the years. Most of all I want to thank my team mates for all your support and friendships. Finally to my fans THANK YOU, its been a hell of a ride. I'm blessed and thankful to play this game. Doesn't matter where I go to work. We still have a lot more to do. I hope to return one day with more experience and success. MF13

A post shared by Malakai Fekitoa (@malakaifekitoa) on


The 25-year-old was not initially named for the All Blacks' side to face the Lions, but was called up for the third Test after Sonny Bill Williams' suspension.

The centre follows flyhalf Aaron Cruden in signing in France this year.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen told New Zealand radio this week that he would support Fekitoa in any overseas move, but hoped he stayed in New Zealand.

The Highlanders take on the Crusaders in their Super Rugby quarter-final on Saturday night, kicking off at 5:35pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS.

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